Sometimes life gets really tough + we are put to the test. Sometimes we feel stuck + overwhelmed, weighed down by the stress or pain in our lives. Sometimes we might wonder “what’s the point in trying”?
And then we pause. And then we breathe. And then we feel the sensations moving through our body. And we soak in the aliveness of our being.
It’s ok to not have all the answers. It’s ok to not get everything done in one day. It’s ok to take time to find your breath + your footing so you can reconnect with your heart + purpose.
Situations happen in life that can be very painful. Our presence in feeling the pain makes us human. Finding ways to ground ourselves through the pain is the key to staying afloat + living vs. drowning in it.
So how do we connect with ourselves in order to keep going when times get tough? How do we not numb ourselves completely OR not shut down + away from the world?
My suggestion – and this is a suggestion, so take whatever appeals to you – is to figure out how to ground yourself:
- Explore what helps you feel rooted into the earth (the floor, the ground), safe, secure + powerful in your body
- Explore what practices help you to be present in this moment
- Explore who in your life can be an ally as you navigate more stressful or darker times
And remember: nothing in life is permanent. As with the breath, which comes + goes, this moment too will pass.
I use a combination of the following grounding practices (depending on the day or situation):
- Stand, sit or lay on the floor, take a few deep breaths + slowly count to 10
- Walk slowly in the forest or chill out by water + tune into the sounds around me
- Journal on what I am feeling + meditate on my breath
- Intentionally move my body, guided by long + deep breaths (like yoga)
- Reach out to a friend/ family member (sometimes we need the presence of another to help us find our footing)
Finding ways to ground, center + settle ourselves when life gets tough is SO important.
My friend shared the analogy of a ceiling fan. Our thoughts + worries start small – the blades of the fan start moving slowly. Then the blades move faster as we get stuck dwelling on the past. Then they move really fast as we get stuck obsessing over the future OR comparing the situation to our expectation of an unmet outcome.
Before we know it we are totally out of balance, off our center + feel like we might “take flight.”
- Cultivating the awareness to notice when we are getting out of balance is the first step.
- Creating + committing to a practice that helps to ground us, is the second.
- Being present to how we are feeling AND being present to when we need to use these tools, is the third step.
Currently, when I feel concerns about the future pop-up or regrets about the past… or the realization of a future that will never happen… I take a deep breath + sit down (so I feel held + supported) AND then I welcome whatever emotions need to surface.
This act of sitting down (grounding) + opening up (surrendering) to my emotions isn’t always easy. It’s taken a few years + lots of courage + patience to cultivate. BUT being grounded + open helps me to befriend my emotions + feel them with less shame + judgment… which allows the emotional release to pass through my body a little bit quicker than when I avoid it or suppress it.
So, however you’re feeling today, this week or this season, I hope that you take time to pause + breathe when you need to. And maybe explore the grounding practices that I’ve shared above – perhaps some will resonate (or not – no worries). Remember: grounding yourself is a highly personal process – all that matters is that the practices you select help to ground you.
When we are grounded, we are aligned with our center. When we are in our center, we hear the wisdom (the truth) of our heart + soul more clearly. When we listen to the wisdom of our heart + soul we tend to experience more joy + fulfillment in our life.